Get the facts right on Lynas and Australian government

SEVERAL media outlets recently repeated claims that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to drop licence conditions imposed on Lynas in August 2019.

These claims are false. The Australian government did not request the Malaysian government to remove or change the conditions in the six-month licence Lynas was granted on Aug 15,2019.

In fact, the Australian government welcomed the decision by the Malaysian government to grant Lynas a six-month licence and a three-year licence in February 2020. Likewise, Lynas announced it expected to satisfy the new conditions in its licence.

Sin Chew Daily and The Star published my letter on Aug 16,2019, praising the Malaysian government’s pro-science decision for signalling that Malaysia is a safe destination for serious investment in advanced manufacturing.

The regulation of industry in Malaysia is a matter for the Malaysian government. All Australia has ever asked is that these decisions are based on scientific evidence, in various Malaysian government and international studies, which shows Lynas is intrinsically low-risk and well-managed.

Lynas has been subject to a robust public debate, including in the media. This is appropriate for a free and democratic society. But participants in this debate, including the media, should get their facts right.

HE ANDREW GOLEDZINOWSKI , Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia

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